Plan ahead - the State of Washington offers Tax Payer Relief for seniors and disabled citizens

Saturday, July 19, 2014

State law provides tax relief programs for older adults, the disabled and those on limited income of any age. Income, residency and other criteria apply.

Certain medical and long-term care costs may be deducted to calculate disposable income. The exemption program is a grant and the amount of the tax reduction ranges from full to partial, depending on assessed value of the property and your income.

The two deferral programs require repayment of the tax amount loaned when the home is sold, the applicant passes away (unless there is a qualifying survivor), the home is no longer used as a primary residence or the home owner chooses to leave the program. If you were not aware of the program, refunds for up to three prior years may be submitted.

  • Senior Citizen /Disabled Property Tax Exemption Program - The exemption program provides a property tax reduction to qualified senior citizens and disabled persons. 
  • Senior Citizen/Disabled Property Tax Deferral Program – Under the deferral program, Washington State pays the second installment of your property tax and special assessments, due October 31, after you have paid the first half due April 30. The Department of Revenue oversees the program and gives final approval. Think of this as a loan, allowing the State to pay part of your property taxes and assessments, in exchange for placing a lien on your property until the amount deferred, plus interest, is repaid. 
  • Property Tax Deferral Program for Homeowners with Limited Income- operates similarly to the deferral program for Senior Citizen /Disabled. Department of Revenue approves applications. 

Eligibility Requirements Senior Citizen Exemption Program
  • Annual household income of $35,000 or less. 
  • Own and occupy a house, mobile home, condo or coop 
  • 61 years of age by December 31 of the previous year, or 
  • Retired because of disability or 
  • Veteran with a 100% service connected disability 
  • You are a widow, or widower, at least 57 years of age, whose spouse had an exemption at time of death. 
  • Refunds for prior years are available because of a mistake, oversight or not knowing about the exemption program
  • Must reapply every four years 
Eligibility Requirements Senior Citizen/Disabled Deferral Program
  • 60 or older or retired because of physical disability 
  • Income of $40,000 or less
  • Owned property for five years
  • Have enough equity to secure the interest of the State of Washington
  • The first half of your property taxes, due April 30,, must be paid before applying for the deferral on your second installment due October 31.
  • Must reapply annually 
Property Tax Deferral Program for Homeowners with Limited Income
  • Available to homeowners with disposable incomes of $57,000 or less 
  • Live in home for five years
  • Have enough equity to secure the interest of the State of Washington 
  • State pays second installment of property taxes after homeowners pays first 
  • Must reapply annually 

The application deadline is September 1 of each year for the Limited Income Program and March 31st for Deferral Program. There is no deadline for the senior/disabled exemption application. For further information or to obtain an application, call the King County Assessor’s Office, 206-296-3920. Download applications here

For property tax questions, call King County Treasury at 206-296-0923. For assistance with tax matters, contact the King County Tax Advisor at 206-477-1060. The number for the King County Assessor is 206-296-7300 or visit the web page.


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